Ojamajo Doremi – Episode 5

And we’re back with more Ojamajo Doremi! The witch trio has already been established at this point, and with the perils of childhood already solved, it’s time for our three heroes to dive into the spirited world of witch capitalism. Look, if you’re going to pay off your witch mortgages, sometimes you gotta make some hard witch calls.

I actually am pretty thrilled to see how the salesman life works out for our trio. I’ve apparently arrived at the level of anime fandom where I’m basically done with shows that are cruel for the sake of it, and ready to embrace the upbeat but legitimately thoughtful children’s shows of the truly unsalvageable anime lifer. God help us all.

Episode 5

“If I only had the courage… but I can’t tell them.” Alright, with the main crew introduced, it looks like the cold open will now be setting up whoever our episodic character is. This time we’ve got a boy who needs courage

“Grand Opening! Maho-dou.” Oh good. I was worried we weren’t actually gonna get to see the girls running the shop, which I for some reason actually find myself invested in now

Doremi slumped halfway off her bed, mouth wide open. What an angel

“Did she get a boyfriend?” Pop sure has romance on the brain at a very young age

I wonder why more shows don’t pull tricks like this show’s corrugated paper background texture. It really does make the whole production feel more warm and homey

Majo Rika gets so frustrated the background fills with tiny frustrated Majo Rika tadpoles. This show really is dedicated to its face innovation

Oh no, they’re overselling how much they want the store to succeed, nobody’s gonna come

The boy from the opening runs into one of their flyers… and tosses it in the trash

The show finally uses those thick Majo Rika outlines for something else – the outline of Doremi’s shoes as they skid to a stop. It’s a smart application; really adds a sense of impact to the shot

A singing witch named Dela jumps out of their dresser. Apparently this is a thing that happens

Dela dragging Rika’s sense of decoration

Hah, Dela is Rika’s landlord. This show keeps offering surprisingly grounded bits of real-world storytelling, even in incidental details like this

And at last, Dela introduces the music note register from the eyecatches

Oh my god, Hadzuki’s cat eyes

All the girls crying about not getting a new register. They’ve become fine young capitalists very quickly!

They decide to go out and bring the customers in. BUSINESS IS BOOMING

“Does this one have magic too?” “It brings world peace.” Goddamnit Doremi

Her face there is really good. You can really parse her shame and snark

The boy arrives. His entrance at Maho-dou echoes a shot the show previously used with Doremi, creating a sense of unease and a sort of otherworldly transition. The classic “crossing the gateway into another world” sequence, which gestures towards a more dedicated type of fantasy than Ojamajo Doremi really is

Nobody bought any of Doremi’s stupid crap

It’s actually pretty impressive that these girls were able to sell a bunch of handmade stuff Hadzuki and Ai just made in the previous afternoon. Child labor: it really works

Apparently the boy’s name is Kotake. Oh, was he the one trolling Doremi in class?

Kotake points out that child labor is illegal. C’mon Kotake, don’t be a buzzkill

Thank you for translating “baka” as “retards,” translator. Gotta get those fansub licks in, I guess

Some interesting messing with the backgrounds in the reaction shots here. First these shattered pane shots as Doremi and Kotake clash, and then this checkerboard stage as Kotake reacts to her creation. The show works hard to keep these conversations visually interesting

I wonder if that’s something that’s actually prioritized more in shows for children, to keep audiences from getting bored. Late-night shows often keep their conversations pretty stiff, just letting the jokes and characters do the work… but oftentimes, the jokes and characters aren’t even close to strong enough to do that

Of course, this also just comes down to how much work is being put into a production in general. Doremi is a show with a lot of aesthetic flair and love put into it, and I’m sure there are plenty of shows for children that are as lazy as any late-night production

“Those who have problems or great desires will find this place.” Ah, there we go. So that distinctive shot of a character in the corner of the frame with the clouds pushing them forward signifies someone who’s actually been guided to Maho-dou by some emotional need, as opposed to someone who just wanders into the story because of the girls’ excellent sense of decor

“But… if that’s true… Well, Kotake’s problem must be something stupid anyway.” Doremi’s thought process is so good

“No, I’m wrong.” Doremi just experienced more self-reflection in twelve seconds than most anime characters undergo in five episodes

Doremi chasing Kotake around the town. Time for some smooth synth jams to set the mood

Doremi is the worst tail. She finds him and immediately shouts out his name

Ah dang, he pinned her clay thing to his shirt. Somebody’s got a crush

Oh my god, this Doremi reaction face

This episode does mark a bit of a turning point for Doremi – she’s actually seeking out classmates to go help now

Kotake goes and finds an animal which is presumably supposed to be a dog

He named the dog Pal, because children are not good at naming things

“If only I had the courage to ask them.” There we go. He needs to find the courage to confront his parents about having a pet. A very basic conflict to start us off on our class adventures

OH NO, IT’S THE CREATURE THAT’S SUPPOSED TO BE A CAT

Ojamajo Doremi understands the important things, like the fundamental evil of all cats

Holy crap, this episode climaxes in a scene where Kotake might be BURIED IN CEMENT

Doremi successfully manages to first freeze Kotake in ice, and then tie herself upside down in a rope. Magic sure is powerful

“Anything’s fine, just save Kotake!” Doremi at last realizes this magic is bullshit and she should let it make up its own plan

Doremi successfully makes the warehouse seem so terrifying that Kotake is inspired to get Pal the hell out of there

Of course, that’s much of the point – Kotake had this strength already, and magic wasn’t really going to help him

And Done!

That was probably the show’s funniest episode yet, courtesy of how ridiculous Doremi’s attempts to help Kotake were. It wasn’t even really Doremi’s fault – though I suppose her mishaps were supposed to reflect how she’s terrible at using magic, it really just seemed like her wand was trolling her the whole time. But between that and the great economic victory of the shop, it seems like things are going pretty well in Doremi land. Until next time!

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